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Monday was a somber day at McRoyal Industries in Youngstown.
The company’s president, John K. Lallo, and his wife, Diana Lallo, were killed when their single-engine Mooney airplane crashed shortly after taking off Sunday afternoon from the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City, Mo.
Lynn Lunsford, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the pilot reported engine trouble shortly after departing the airport. He said the plane crashed about a quarter-mile from the airport. FAA records show the plane was registered to Air McRoyal.
Missouri resident Nararrio Smith saw the plane go down but didn’t think anything was terribly wrong.
“We didn’t hear anything, no boom, no smoke. We didn’t see fire, nothing,” said Smith.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash, trying to piece together exactly what led to it.
John Lallo was a Liberty school board member and Diana Lallo was a science teacher at W.S. Guy Middle School before retiring in 2007.
Longtime friend and colleague Ellen King said she taught across the hall from Lallo.
“Very good science teacher, very hands-on. Children enjoyed having her and being in her classroom, very personable, very likeable and very creative, too.”
King said the couple was very hands on in extracurricular activities with their kids.
“John was one of the school board members that was always in the school. He was very aware of what was going on and if we needed anything,” said King. “John was the first one we would go to to say, could we have? Or could you get us? Or could we do this?”
Wheeler Airport, located just west of downtown Kansas City, is used largely by corporate and recreational flyers.